The ZONE remembers Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

On Saturday, March 5, 2005, the Johnny Depp-Zone joined with friends and admirers of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson all over the world and took time out to honor and celebrate his remarkable life. The Zone today is full of tributes to Hunter, from the ONBC discussion of Hunter’s writing, to the pictures and artwork posted, to the memories articulated on every forum. Clearly Hunter will be deeply missed by the many Zoners who loved him and his work. The Zone wrote no official eulogy for HST; that was too heartbreaking a task for anyone to shoulder. But here is an excerpt from a farewell letter to Hunter written by the Zone’s webmaster, Part-time Poet. The full letter appears on the Porch:

“You believed in liberty and justice–and not just for the privileged few. You screamed like a banshee at oppression and injustice wherever you found it, even if it emanated from the Oval Office. You shouted ‘Fire!’ long before the rest of us sleepy souls even smelled smoke, and you were invariably right. Often you were right and all alone, called crazy for your pains. That didn’t matter. You kept writing, warning, and shouting. I see now that you were more dedicated to the Presidential oath–‘to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States’–than some who swore those words before the Chief Justice on Inauguration Day.

“‘I have to think that a person can do some good,’ you once told a British Omnibus film crew. Fear not–you did.

“[. . .] Thank you for never giving up, or caving in, or bowing down to the status quo. [. . .] For so long you were our Atlas, carrying all of us on your broad shoulders. Now we will trail in your wake, struggling to grow up and fight our own battles without Gonzo to lead us.

But we know how.
Thanks to you.”

RIP, HST. We love you always.

Johnny Depp arrives in Apsen for Hunter S. Thompson memorial service, March 5th

Johnny Depp arrived in Aspen Saturday, March 5th, to take part in the memorial gathering for his friend Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Photographers snapped Johnny’s PHOTO as he and fellow actor John Cusack arrived at the Hotel Jerome. The Denver Post reports that the 150 invitees to the private evening ceremony in the ballroom of the historic hotel included only Hunter’s closest friends and family members, each of whom was asked to bring “a favorite photo or memento to help mark the occasion.” The ballroom was decorated with a giant American flag and an almost life-size black-and-white photo cutout of Thompson standing in front of it. In addition to Johnny and John Cusack, other friends of Hunter who made the trip to Aspen included Jack Nicholson; Sean Penn; Bill Murray; Benicio Del Toro; HST’s publisher at ROLLING STONE, Jann Wenner; and artist Ralph Steadman, whose distinctive cartoons illustrated many of Hunter’s works. Thanks to emma and DeepinDepp for posting the news; you can read the full story HERE. The Zone also thanks MadScntst and moo who posted photos of Johnny in Aspen on the Recent Pics forum.

As his part of the memorial to Hunter, Johnny read “the wave speech” from FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS–probably the single most famous piece of prose in all of Hunter’s works. Fans will remember that Johnny also read “the wave speech” at the Hunter S. Thompson tribute in Louisville, Kentucky in December 1996–the night Hunter arranged for Johnny to be proclaimed a Kentucky Colonel in the Kentucky Colonels Association. This passage, which Johnny calls “the most profound section” of FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, describes and mourns the end of the 1960s, so it is a particularly fitting choice for Hunter’s memorial, which also marks the end of an era.

Only one reporter–Jeff Kass of the Rocky Mountain News–was permitted to attend the memorial gathering. You can read his account of the evening’s tributes HERE.